Reflections on Histories and Practices: Beat Carnival

/ Analysis
**The Art for Reconciliation research team asked artists, arts producers, audiences and participants to work with us on a series of short films exploring key insights emerging from our research. Here, David Boyd, founder-director of Beat Carnival and the Belfast Carnival Parades, and artist John Quinn, reflect on their practice...

We visited arts practitioners, arts producers and participants, in different studios, galleries and community spaces in Belfast between 7 and 10 July 2021, and invited them to share their reflections. The idea was to share the knowledge and experience of practitioners and participants who have been involved in creating the wealth, diversity and disparity of meanings and values attached to ‘art for reconciliation’ practices over time.

We were particularly interested in learning about and sharing specific strategies and practices that art can provide to conflict transformation, peace building and improving community relations. By focussing on how practitioners and participants create value and meaning together, we hope to show that the experience of producing and consuming art expands our understanding of what peace and reconciliation entails.

In these three short films, we asked David Boyd and John Quinn of the Beat Carnival, Belfast to talk about:**

The value of their work and the distinctive and specific contribution that their practices or projects have made to transformative outcomes associated with peacebuilding during the years leading up to and following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

David Boyd also opens up the Beat Carnival's amazing collections of work made in response to peacebuilding, reconciliation and regeneration in the city and we hear from Beat Carnival artist, John Quinn about his practice.

The series was devised and produced by Dr Alex Coupe and Dr Pauline Hadaway (Art for Reconciliation Research team) in consultation with members of the project's Research Advisory Committee. The films were made by the project's videographer, Peter Young.

Special thanks to contributors to the series: Ken Bartley, co-director Artisann gallery, Belfast; David Boyd, director Beat Carnival; Sarah Jankowitz, Queen’s University, Belfast; Deirdre Robb and her team at Belfast Exposed gallery of photography; and Cate Turner, director Healing through Remembering.

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